While it’s important to have a strong digital presence, starting a corporate blog might not be the right strategy for every business. The digital landscape is already crowded with content, and creating a blog puts your company in competition with many other content producers.
It’s important to take a big picture approach to your business objectives when it comes to communications and marketing. Analyze the time and effort that your business will need to invest to make your corporate blog successful. If you’re already stretched for time, a blog might not be right for your business and you may want to consider alternatives, such as paid advertising, to getting your company noticed by digital audiences.
For a company blog to be successful, it needs to become part of your business processes.
Some successful bloggers, such as marketing expert Seth Godin, strongly recommend posting every single day. Hubspot, a leading content marketing firm, recommends three to four new posts every week for a smaller blog, and four to five posts per week for a larger blog, in order to drive organic traffic. For purposes of brand awareness, they recommend one to two times a week for small blogs and three to four times for large blogs.
These numbers aren’t a hard-and-fast rule, so it is important to learn what your desired audience is interested in tuning into. If your business publishes too many posts for the type or size of your brand, it can lead to a diluted audience and burnout for your team.
However many posts you intend to publish, it’s important to integrate content creation into your business practices. If the time commitment isn’t accounted for and scheduled, then a company blog is often the first project to get pushed back, leaving your audience wondering what happened.
For any type of media, from magazines to TV shows, audiences have a set of expectations for consistent content. If a reader picks up an issue of Forbes magazine and finds articles about plumbing instead of business or entrepreneurship, they likely won’t read the magazine again.
The same is true for blogs. Readers expect thematic and narrative continuity, and they won’t become return visitors if you don’t provide that.
Depending on your business, having enough variation in your content to keep it interesting, while still maintaining thematic continuity, requires investing the time in planning.
If your business addresses a niche market, your corporate blog might struggle to find enough new or interesting things to talk about. Conversely, if your business addresses too broad a range of topics, your blog might risk alienating your desired audience.
Your business blog also needs to be published consistently. If you set a schedule for posting but start missing weeks or months, your readership will drop off considerably. Audiences have short attention spans, and if you don’t stick to your schedule, they will move on quickly.
Audiences also look for narrative continuity. A series of posts on a particular issue keep readers engaged and coming back for the next installment. If you want to court return readership, you have to plan your content calendar strategically, which requires, you guessed it, time and attention.
If time is something your organization can’t spare, you won’t be able to maximize the return readership of your corporate blog and might be better off scaling back or going without one – at least until you have time or resources.
It’s tempting to think about the internet as a space with infinite capacity for more business blogs. And while that may be true in theory, in reality your audience does not have infinite capacity.
Each reader can follow only so many sources of content, and your company’s blog is simply one node in a vast digital ecosystem of content. To put it simply: You are competing for the attention of your audience against a whole world of digital content – more content than anyone could possibly consume in a lifetime.
Adding to that, the world of blogging constantly changes and evolves, requiring you to learn new tools, new rules for SEO, and new best practices for web development. If your company already struggles to stay on the cutting edge of technology or digital change, your corporate blog will quickly get left behind.
To make sure people read your company’s blog, you may need to promote your posts. It’s not enough to simply publish on your website. You may need to push out notifications to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites meaning that your small blog project scope will be larger and more costly.
You might want to consider promoting your corporate blog with paid advertisements. It might sound counterintuitive, but acquiring ongoing readers who will expand your reach by sharing your content on social media often requires an initial monetary investment in ads.
Even if you do everything right, plan your content months in advance, post regularly with interesting content, and promote your corporate blog appropriately, it still might never generate interest or become “popular.” It might fail.
Internet audiences can be fickle, and they may simply not resonate with your work. If this happens, you will have invested a lot of time and money, with little to no upside.
At the end of the day, your corporate blog will take time and effort to cultivate. If your company doesn’t have the time to build it up slowly, you’ll be disappointed by early failures and potentially pull the plug on the project before it has a proper chance to take off.
Being aware of the challenges your business blog might face and the costs it might incur, will help you maintain hope if success doesn’t come quickly.
Be sure to read our next installment in this three-part series, where we will compare the pros and cons of having a business blog and ultimately help you decide if starting a blog is right for your company.
If you have questions about getting the most out of your corporate blog, or any other content marketing inquiries, feel free to reach out to Sparx Publishing Group here.